Going to dinner and the theater at Capitol Hill’s 12th Ave Arts might not be the fancy-pants event some might expect. Capitol Hill farmers market born and bred Rachel’s Ginger Beer is finally opening a shop in its home neighborhood with a ginger beer and fry bar inside the new affordable housing + East Precinct parking + theater space + nonprofit office space + three food and drink space development.
“That was so a part of the drinking culture,” the Rachel in RGB told CHS while apologizing for being “boring” with a story about traipsing through Europe. “You get a beer and a bowl of fries.”
Hey, anytime there is traipsing involved, we’re interested. Especially when you’re talking les pommes frites.
Oh là là. Rachel Marshall’s latest Capitol Hill joint is slated to open this spring with all the goodness of Rachel’s Ginger Beer plus “a menu of crispy, hand-cut fries and 15 to 20 dipping sauces, including a fancy ranch.” The bar will serve ginger beer-based and carbonated cocktails. The bubbles will tickle. There will be ice cream for floats and, if you’re an animal, dipping fries. And you’ll be able to fill your growler or grab RGB to go.
“What I picture is kind of a place where you can go during the day and really feel comfortable opening your laptop but can also have a drink,” Marshall said. “And we can go into the night.”
For those predicting a few Montana Mules + fries + a night at the theater dates, 12th Ave Arts will be home to three companies that will share the two performance spaces. About one third of the schedule will be open for other companies and groups to rent out the stages. With Rachel’s Ginger Beer holding down the main southern section of the ground-floor commercial space in the building, two more food and drink ventures will join 12th Ave Arts in its more casual take on theater dining. U:Don Fresh Noodle Station with its “hand-made, fresh Sanuki-style udon noodle bowls” is also set to be resident in the project while Pel Meni Seattle Dumpling Tzar will also give theatergoers affordable option.
From the days of selling RGB at a table at the Broadway Farmers Market to its July 2013 opening of its flagship shop in Pike Place Market, Marshall is now partner in two of the more neighborhood-friendly Capitol Hill bars and this coming third that seems likely to fit in equally well. Montana opened on E Olive Way in late 2011 and made picklebacks a thing, while Nacho Borracho brought margaritas and queso to Broadway in early 2014. Her places, she has said, cater to customers within a few blocks, not the (520) bridge and (I-90) bridge crowd.
A berth inside the brand new 12th Ave Arts will be a different environment for Marshall. Rachel’s Ginger Beer Capitol Hill will be the first venue her partnership has built out from the bolts up. It’s a massively bigger financial risk. But it will also mean Marshall’s hopes for “really clean simple, modern lines with lots of vegetation” can be more fully achieved. Jeremy Reding, the architect who created the Pike Place Market RGB, is on hand again to design the new space.
Marshall said the decision for her and business partner Adam Peters to join the Capitol Hill Housing development was part of a calculated next step in the continued growth of the company.
“It’s absolutely a part of our longterm plan,” she said. “We invested a lot in infrastructure
and a lot of resources to ramp up RGB production.”
In 2012, CHS reported on the decision to move RGB’s production off Capitol Hill to help the company ramp up to meet greater demand — and, of course, also make room for Montana to expand.
Marshall, now with a family of her own, also finds herself with an amazingly extend set of responsibilities.
“There are a lot of people who depend on this,” Marshall said of the some 70 employees that work across her various ventures these days. “I feel like becoming a mother makes me really sensitive to that.”
Rachel’s Ginger Beer Capitol Hill will open in spring 2015 in the 12th Ave Arts building at 1620 12th Ave. You can learn more at rachelsgingerbeer.com.
Capitol Hill food+drink notes
- Coming sooner: Zhu Dang, Nue, Serious Pie Capitol Hill, Herb and Bitter, Mouse and Marver…
- OK. One of those is a lie.
- Already came: Spaghetti Western.
- Oh, also coming: Construction has begun on E Pine for the new Kukai.
- Gone… for now: The Lobby Bar says goodbye to its E Pike birthplace Saturday night. It’s on the hunt for a new space. No word on what comes next on E Pike.
- Unfriendly welcome. Single Shot suffered a $4,200 break-in :(
- We heard back from the restaurant veterans behind coming-in-2015, Broadway Tex-Mex joint Rooster’s. They liked the article. That’s nice!
- Do you have your tickets for Sun Liquor’s first annual Nog Ball?
- We think Seattle Times has it kinda backward — the neighborhoods make the restaurants, not the other way around — but there’s a lot of good Capitol Hill in there including the story behind the DeLuxe family’s decision to open a restaurant in “North Ballard” and, of course, Linda Derschang — Her true niche, she realizes, “is for places that become neighborhood institutions.”
- That’s not a niche!
- Equally interesting and frustrating and Hill-full: The Restaurants That Changed Seattle
- Sounders are pushing for the finals. Seahawks? Scuffling. Still, promos are all about football as Bait Shop says it will start showing games, serving blue/green drinks and Rhein Haus is holding a tailgate to benefit the GSBA Scholarship Fund.
- One year in with Juicebox.
- Revolver — now with booths:
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